Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities on earth, with about 15 million people packed into a fairly small space. Traffic is a nightmare, and the sound of honking horns blends together with construction, airplanes, and the call to prayer to create quite a cacophony.
I’ve now been in Dhaka for over a month, and it’s definitely been interesting. I find Consular work to be fascinating (good thing, since I am Consular-coned!) and the staff at the Embassy are amazing. Local people are warm and welcoming, and the Americans who work in the Embassy have kept me busy with dinners, house parties and shopping trips.
We are restricted in our movements, which does make things a little bit more of a hardship than even normal-hardship-Dhaka. To give you a better idea without cramming up my blog with less than fun topics, I’ll direct you to the Department of State’s Bangladesh Travel Alert. The not walking outside is probably the most significant challenge for me. There are some pretty little avenues and parks one could walk in, or even bike in. Instead, I’m reliant upon a car to take me everywhere. Living the past year at FSI, where I never needed a car, this comes as a harsh adjustment. There are definitely sacrifices to this life, but I’m still willing to make those sacrifices.
Since I last checked in, I’ve gotten some walls in my new house decorated and received my UAB (air freight), so things feel a little bit more homey and bright.
I also had the opportunity to go on an Embassy field trip to the Bangladesh Air Force Museum. It was more fun than I expected, and more than a little bizarre – but in a good way!!
While I can’t walk or take public transportation, I hired a driver who can help me to explore a little bit of Dhaka and do some shopping. Did you know that Bangladesh has amazing pink pearls? I’ve bought more than I’ll ever wear, because they are incredibly affordable and beautiful! I’ve also had a lot of clothes tailor-made, both eastern and western style.
The next couple months should be fun – I’m heading to India to visit the Taj Mahal, we’re having the Embassy National Day and one of my bestest Bangla-language buddy will be starting their tour here soon too. I hope to get my HHE at some point soon so I can start to entertain. Overall, I’m still happy to be here in Bangladesh, doing a job that I enjoy, with people who are fantastic.